I can't believe we've been doing Vegan Drinks in Memphis for seven months! Back in July, I organized the first Memphis Vegan Drinks at Chiwawa in Overton Square, and we had a great turnout.
Each month, though, the core group has dwindled a bit. Today, I sat by myself at the restaurant/bar for an hour before anyone showed up. Granted, I arrived a little early because I had hoop dance class tonight and needed to get my food and drink before 6 p.m. But even still, only Shay, Vaughan, Nicole, and Nicole's daughter Vera came. That's quite a bit smaller than our first meet-up of nearly 20 people.
But that's okay. No matter how small the group gets, I'll keep it going. As long as there's someone to toast with, Vegan Drinks will carry on. (And if you're reading this and you live in Memphis, join our Facebook group, so you can get updates on the next meetup!).
Tonight we met at Evelyn & Olive, a vegan-friendly Jamaican restaurant with decadent cocktails and a nice wine selection. I ordered what I always get there — Black Bean Tacos with Rice and Pigeon Peas.
The name is a bit deceptive. These aren't just black bean tacos. They have tofu in them too, and it's the best tofu I've ever put in my mouth. For real. The marinate it in magic. The tacos have a cabbage slaw and a kiwi salsa. And the rice and peas are delightfully spicy.
I'm typically a wine or beer drinker, but I couldn't pass up the signature Jamaican cocktail list. I went with the Jamaican Rum Punch — rum, strawberry puree, and lime juice. Not too sweet. Just the right level of tangy.
Shay ordered a Dark 'n' Stormy — dark rum and Jamaican ginger beer.
Vaughan and Nicole arrived just as I was about to leave, so I didn't get pics of their food or cocktails. But Vaughan did start with a non-alcoholic ginger beer. These are served warm in the traditional manner.
Because we had a lower turnout tonight, and I know that a few people who couldn't come really wanted to, I'm scheduling a do-over for Evelyn & Olive again for February's Vegan Drinks (Tuesday, Feb. 18th, 5:30 p.m.). If you're local, save the date. They have a number of vegan food options, and their cocktails are among the best in town.